Casino advertising in the UK

Posted on January 20th, 2009

We have noticed a lot more TV ads for casinos, in particular online casinos, in the UK. The rules were relaxed in 2008, and alot of companies piled in to the medium to promote their companies straight away: something must be working, because we are seeing a steady stream of ads running.

If you watch any of the niche channels on Sky, you´re bound to have noticed them. Companies like Party Gaming, 888 and Ladbrokes have been sponsoring shows and running ads during the breaks. In fact, this month one of the Ladbroke´s TV ads was banned and the company had its knuckles rapped. The advertising watchdog banned the TV campaign by Ladbrokes because it says the company was portraying gambling as a reckless pursuit. The ad feautured a guy who was into adrenaline sports- his hobby was attaching raw bacon and sausages to his wetsuit and diving in shark infested waters dressed up as a seal.

The strapline was: “If only he’d seen it would have quenched his thrill buds.”

So- online casino companies like to tread on thin ice when they are advertising their products. That much we know. What we thought we would do, is to make a few suggestions for future advertising campaigns. We think you need to up the ante. Calling all online casino companies! Come and get your free advertising and media ideas!

1. Advertise during the Superbowl. Take the risk up a gear, you lightweights! At a mere $3 million for 30 seconds, it´s a steal. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals are playing in Super Bowl 43 on the 1st February 2009. The ad slot is the most expensive ever, despite the credit crunch. PLUS, you have the added complexity that online casinos are illegal in the US. Think of the PR! Never mind $3 million for the media time, you´ll triple that in news coverage (more than enough publicity to generate the income that you´ll need to hide from The Feds).  General Motors normally feature heavily- let´s face it, they´ll be a space there then.

2. The Vendée Globe is still on. Last time I looked, the nearest single-handed sailor bouncing around the world in a fibreglass bunk bed was still over 3,000 miles to the finish. If we are talking risk taking, these men and women should definitely have headed to Ladbrokes Online Casino. But they didn´t and anyway all the boats are sponsored by telephone companies. Boring. Here´s an idea. Get Dame Ellen MacArthur to set out on a Laser or Topper dinghy under the cover of night with sponsorship all over the sails just before they arrive back in France. As they are on their home stretch, get her to nip in to the pack on her dingy and cross the finishing line in say position 3 or 4, smoking a big fat cigar. Just think how lame the other sailors are going to feel when they realise that the real adrenlaine junky went round in a 13 foot dinghy.

3. Here´s our favourite. Hire Gordon Brown for the day and set up a live, televised roulette game where the P.M. bets $200 billion of tax payers money on the red. Getting hold of this kind of cash should be easy. Think of the publicity if his number comes in! At a stroke, Ladbrokes or whoever will have solved the credit crunch in the UK. You can just imagine how you could build the tension on this one as the P.M. places 200 billion dollar chips on the table. Break for an advert just before the spin obviously. And if he loses? Well, no one will notice another $200 billion going down the hole- so no worries there- and who´s going to care at the casino company anyway? The marketing director will be up for a promotion for sure, as this is bound to beat all records on the company´s profit and loss account.

Casino companies- please contact us to run with these ideas or leave a comment. Usual media commision applies, although we are running a special Credit Crunch discount on the third idea if the PM loses the bet.


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